Well my first trimester is over and I am counting down the last few days  of 2009. It is raining, I am in my pyjamas and even though I know most Edinburgh Starbucks Baristas by name, not a damn one of them will shove a couple of double tall, skinny wet lattes in a cab for me. Sigh.

I cannot wait for a new year and a new slate. I never watch the Queen on Christmas day but I read in the Times that even Her Majesty said 2009 is a year best forgotten.  I think the overall theme for me this year has been health; I have never been so sickly in my life as I have this year. And I am totally exhausted. I think I took too much on in 2009, assigned myself too many roles which turned my life into one giant scheduling nightmare. This meant I have been perpetually run down and tired which in turn has left my immune system gasping for breath at the side of the kerb. I also have an annoying habit  of starting 18 projects at the same time and then not managing to adequately complete even one of them. This is time consuming and stressful. Note to self: stop doing this!!!

The major plus and saving grace of 2009 was applying to and being accepted on the MA course at Napier, although even this has had its moments. There are many reasons why I wanted to place myself in an academic environment instead of  just writing, writing, writing myself, and the fact that I wasn’t doing much writing, writing, writing was a major contributing factor.  I had no confidence in myself or anything I put on paper and it was too easy to talk about wanting to be a writer…someday. I am terrified of running out of somedays. I was once told the only way to change people’s behaviour is to change people’s behaviour and this is a maxim I have found works for me every time I apply it in my life. The course has so far done exactly what I wanted, it has changed my behaviour and my environment although I wasn’t expecting such a far reaching and fast drop kick out of my comfort rut. My biggest fear on the course is discovering that I can’t write, that the desire is there but the ability is somewhere else entirely. I am learning not to let this fear stop me.

But it is all good! I have learnt so much and had my eyes and mind opened to so many new things that I am almost paralysed by choice. I don’t know what to look at first. I have been introduced to new writers, I am learning that not everything I write will be good and there is a reason we call it a first draft. I am starting to understand writing as a craft which has already changed the way I write and how I see myself as a writer. Somehow this has made the blank page less terrifying.

What is terrifying is that I think I have started writing a children’s story. I don’t really like children and therefore find it quite difficult to talk to them. I have no idea what I may find to say to them in a story but I guess I need to let this run its course and see where I end up.

My primary focus over the next couple of weeks before I start Trimester 2 is to write, write, write. I need to download all the snatches and stories from my head to the aforementioned blank page so I have something to work with. I have already made a start and it feels  good to be writing again. I have also bought a new journal for 2010 and am looking forward to renewing the habit of keeping a daily diary – although I shall never, ever refer to it as Dear Diary.

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